KENFAP-Kenya: in-house research capacity to monitor government policy

Gideon Onumah

The Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP) is the national partner in the Collaborative Research under the Empowering Smallholder in Markets (ESFIM) programme. ESFIM activities fit in and were anchored to KENFAP’s strategic aim of “fostering the interests of smallholder farmers by stimulating beneficial policy changes through lobby and advocacy…”. This objective requires the active engagement of KENFAP with the Government to create and maintain an enabling environment for agricultural sector.

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ESFIM-Kenya Documents


Kenya’s food security status has continued to worsen from 24.3% in 1990 to 42% in 2001.By February 2011 an estimated 2.4 million persons, up from 1.6 million in August 2010, required food and non-food (Kenya Food Security Steering Group, February 2011). Kenya’s food policy since independence has been centered on improving domestic supply of basic foodstuffs, mainly grain crops. This goal of food self-sufficiency was largely attained in the early years of independence until the late seventies after which massive food shortages set in. Since then, the goal of food self-sufficiency and food security has not been attained despite significant policy pronouncements to reform the sector. Generally Kenya has been a low-income food deficit country a regular importer and occasional exporter of grain yet has the potential to be a regional grain basket if agricultural potential is well managed. The causes of food insecurity and the reasons the worsening food situation are many and varied, they include low agricultural productivity due to prolonged drought, inadequate access to productive assets (land and capital), inadequate access to appropriate technologies by farmers, effects of global trade and slow reform process. However, in the recent past other factors have come into play such as exporting maize into the neighboring countries disregarding the strategic reserve balances, misleading data to the general public and allowing the millers to distate the markets of the staple grains. read more »